In order for your brand to have the impact you want, you will need a clear, well-informed strategic marketing plan. It is very likely that your plan will (and should) change over time in response to market developments and other events, but you should at least have a clear understanding of your overarching goals, the objectives that serve them, and a fairly good idea of how you’re going to go about achieving them.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re putting together a marketing strategy: promotional branding, pay-per-click advertising, organic vs. inorganic digital marketing; these are just a few of the concepts you’ll need to get a grip on if you want your business to compete. To get you started, we’ve put together five important steps for developing a successful marketing strategic plan.
Presumably, you already know what your overall business goals are – like increasing profits and expanding your market share – but this is the time to really think through what you want to achieve with your marketing. Some common marketing goals are building brand awareness, gaining more social media followers, and increasing website traffic. Set a timeline of between 12 and 24 months for when you want to achieve your goals, and start planning from there.
An analysis of strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), will help you gain some clarity over your business; what makes it unique, where it is underperforming, who your main competitors are and what external factors you have to compete with. It will also help you to understand which of the challenges you face are within your control and which ones aren’t, allowing you to direct your energy and finances towards the areas where they will actually be felt.
In order to do this, you will need some research. This should begin with an audit of your own business records, and then you may wish to conduct some research of your own. This step will require a serious investment of time and money, but it means you are far less likely to spend time and money marketing a product no one wants to an audience that doesn’t exist.
Once you’ve decided on your goals and objectives and have identified your target audience, you’ll need to start implementing. This seems obvious, but it doesn’t always happen. Many a strategic plan has been developed to near completion, only to sit around, occasionally getting tweaked here and there, waiting for things to stay still long enough that the whole thing remains on point. Unfortunately, things never stay still. So make your schedule, stick to it as best you can, and be willing to adjust as you go.
An evaluative process should be written into the plan itself, and like the rest of the plan, it should be scheduled. We suggest quarterly evaluations to see how the objectives you put in place are performing. One way of doing this is through predetermined indicators (for example, 100 new page ‘Likes’ per month), but you could also carry out research with your staff and clients.
At Brand Services, strategy is at the heart of everything we do. Get in touch today to find out how our committed team of digital marketing specialists can help develop your marketing strategy.